“FETCH!” Season 5 Summative Evaluation: Teaching Math through Television

January 1st, 2010 | EVALUATION

In the spring of 2010, WGBH Boston (wgbh.org) delivered twenty new episodes for the television series FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman (pbskids.org/FETCH!/). These episodes, developed for FETCH!'s fifth season, reflected a broadening of FETCH!'s stem content to include more mathematics. Rather than focusing exclusively on science and engineering, as FETCH! had done in the first four seasons, Season 5 episodes also highlighted age-appropriate math skills and concepts. WGBH was interested in assessing the extent to which kids learned math concepts and skills from these episodes. WGBH hired Concord Evaluation Group (CEG) to evaluate the effectiveness of a selection of four episodes from the FETCH! Season 5 lineup. CEG's main study objective was to test the hypothesis that kids who watched the episodes would demonstrate significantly greater learning about math concepts and skills than kids who did not watch the episodes. We found: (1) Watching the FETCH! episodes enhanced kids' attitudes toward math. (2) Watching the FETCH! episodes enhanced kids' knowledge of math and science (content and procedural knowledge). (3) The FETCH! episodes had universal appeal across all ethnic, age, and gender groups. (4) Kids told us that the FETCH! episodes helped them learn that math is fun and useful and that they learned new measurement skills and science concepts from watching the episodes. (5) The majority of after-school and camp educators were enthusiastic about the FETCH! episodes and the episodes' ability to teach kids about math and science. The survey of this report includes pretest and postest questions (surveys) for kids and educators.

Document

WGBH_FETCH5_EpisodeEvaluation.pdf

Team Members

Christine Paulsen, Evaluator, Concord Evaluation Group
WGBH, Contributor
Chris Bransfield, Evaluator, Concord Evaluation Group

Funders

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 0840307
Funding Amount: 2951197

Related URLs

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, Season Five

Tags

Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Mathematics
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative | Survey
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within InformalScience.org are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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